In an Artery Far, Far Away Cardiovascular Effects of Prolonged Spaceflight
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBefore we rush to colonize the moon and book our tickets for commercial spaceflight, there are some physiological consequences to consider. This paper includes a brief history of spaceflight, a basic summary of the structures and functions of the cardiovascular system, and investigates potential adverse effects of prolonged spaceflight. Prolonged exposure to microgravity is known to adversely affect the skeletal, immune, and cardiovascular systems. Of cardiovascular effects, a change in heart mass, orthostatic intolerance, and potential loss of cardiac contractility are evaluated (to mixed results). The conclusion this paper draws is that further study is needed to determine the effect of long-term travel on contractility in the heart, composition of the vasculature (extent of remodeling), and methods to compensate for cardiovascular damage.
Degree ProgramHonors College